Organisers of two public fundraising appeals launched in the wake of the Buncrana Pier tragedy have expressed their gratitude to those who have helped them raise £92,000.
The money is expected to be handed to the family from the organisers of the two appeals.
Marty McGranaghan from Londonderry and Michelle Black from Buncrana had independently launched their Justgiving pages in the days following the tragedy, with modest targets.
They had hoped to raise money to help the family of Jodie-Lee Tracey (14), her mother Ruth Daniels, Ruth’s son-law Sean McGrotty and his sons Mark (12) and Evan McGrotty (8) with funeral costs.
Michelle’s appeal has raised £20,000 and another £5,000 in a Credit Union account she had opened in the town. Marty’s appeal meanwhile has raised £67,222. Both are expected to meet with Evan and Mark’s mother Louise James in the coming days, after the successful month-long fundraisers came to an end.
Marty said: “It has just been unbelievable. It says a lot about people whenever they put their hand in their pocket like this. There were people there who donated a couple of pound and you know that is all they have. It really has been a brilliant response.”
Michelle said: “I was definitely surprised. We knew people would want to donate but I didn’t think there would be such a big response.
“Marty is taking me up to meet Louise, probably in the next couple of weeks.
“Being a mother myself and knowing there was kids involved in this tragedy and how it could happen to anybody, it just affects you deeply. This has affected lots of people in the same way.”
A number of other fundraising initiatives have also been held across the north west over recent weeks.